Tag Archives: Richard Butler

RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – United Nations (Part 1 of 2)

The United Nations continues to be vital in the humanitarian field, but is failing in its role of maintaining international peace and security. The continuing abuse of their veto power, by the permanent five members of the Security Council, is … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Contemplating the Use of Nuclear weapons?

A nuclear arms race between the US and Russia has resumed. The US is increasing the power and effectiveness of its weapons threefold, President Trump has indicated that he is prepared to contemplate using nuclear weapons to achieve some of … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. It Now Begins, in Earnest.

Governing in earnest now begins in the US under the new Administration. The Congress, still deeply divided, will need to make sense of Trump’s sketchy proposals. They are unlikely to agree or succeed. The need for Australia to review and … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Australia and the US: Truth Time.  

There is an extraordinary amount of deception and lying around current US policy. The Republican establishment will need to work out where it stands on Trump’s agenda. This is precisely the time for truthful discourse in Australia about our relationship … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump: A Sideshow?

It is not only Trump that has assumed power in the US but also a set of deeply ideological and introverted Republicans. Both will shape US policy and actions. Australia should now review the conduct of its relationship with the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump and Nuclear Weapons

Trump’s stance on nuclear weapons is ignorant, inconsistent, confused. What he has proposed on nuclear arms control and proliferation will not be accepted. His latest offer to the Russians has no chance of serious consideration.  

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RICHARD BUTLER. Julie and Julia in the Promised Land

Australia’s position on Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied Palestinian land is contrary to that of a clear majority of countries. It is driven by domestic political calculations, by both sides of Australian politics. Foreign Minister Bishop’s unnecessary public … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. New series: We can say ‘no’ to the Americans.

Australian Foreign Policy; We can say “No” to the US. We must end the interpretation of the ANZUS Alliance which leads us to accompany the US in whatever interventions it mounts in international affairs, and we must stop misleading the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Australian Foreign Policy and the United States

A review of Australian foreign policy is long overdue, not simply because of the election of Donald Trump. This should include redefinition of our conduct under the Alliance.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Our white man’s media.

In this blog, I will be posting occasional pieces under the title ‘our white man’s media’ about the inadequate coverage of important issues in world affairs and in particular, in our region. So much of our media coverage reflects the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Attack on Mosul : Australian Involvement?

  There does not appear to be a plan for the political disposition of Mosul, if and when the Iraqi/US led coalition frees it from ISIS. The political, economic, and confessional interests at stake have attracted all regional powers. Australia’s … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. President Trump: Foreign Policy and the Alliance

Donald Trump’s victory has shocked America and the world. America is deeply divided. Where he might take US foreign policy is unclear. We need to redefine the Alliance relationship. The competition between Trump and Clinton was widely described as savage, … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Putin is different.

  A special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, just published, focuses on the deteriorating US-Russia relationship. It poses the question of whether a new Cold War has started and publishes a range of relevant, articles. The article … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Russia and the US Elections

  The US elections campaign has set-up a deeply negative framework for the future management of US/Russia relations. If Hillary Clinton is President her past attraction to military solutions to foreign policy problems will need revision, if conflict is to … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Seeds of War, and the New UN Secretary General

  The sources of potential serious international conflict are expanding, as States increasingly ignore the UN Charter. Australia should support efforts by the new UN Secretary General to strengthen the Charter and join the majority of States seeking to reform … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Nuclear disarmament – Australia’s Profound and Cynical Failure.

  In 1995 Prime Minister Keating established the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. He did this because he was appalled at the intensity of the, mainly US/USSR, nuclear arms race. He wanted to find a safe way … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Foreign Policy. An Independent Australian Foreign Policy (Repost from Policy Series) 

Summary: For fifty years, since Australia entered the war in Vietnam in 1965, Australian foreign policy has been made increasingly subservient to a specific concept of Australia’s relationship with the United States. That concept, first enunciated by Prime Minister Menzies … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Interesting Times

  The so-called Chinese Curse: “ May you live in interesting times”, is apparently not of Chinese origin, but certainly apocryphal and wonderfully ironic. I think it is hard to recall more “interesting times” than those in which the world … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Invasion of Iraq: Will anyone be brought to trial, held to account ?

  There was anxiety about why it had taken 7 years for the result of the UK’s Iraq Enquiry to be published. Would it prove to be a whitewash of Tony Blair and his decisions? Within minutes of watching its … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Obama and Nuclear Weapons

It is widely acknowledged by those who have had anything substantive to do with nuclear weapons that as long as they exist they will, one day, be used, either by accident or decision. Equally, it is acknowledged that any such … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Nuclear Security Summit: Washington Finale?

Seven years ago, President Obama spoke in Prague Square and undertook to “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”. He cautioned that this outcome would be immensely difficult to achieve and may not be reached in … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Nuclear North Korea: Profound and Dangerous Hypocrisy  

During the last 10 years, North Korea has resigned its membership of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and conducted four nuclear test explosions. It claimed that the latest of these, detected four days ago, was of a hydrogen (fission-fusion) … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Bombing Syria: Where’s our Debate?

On December 2nd, the UK House of Commons debated for 10 hours, a motion moved by the Government, that it should authorise bombing of DAESH targets in Syria by UK airforces. (Prime Minister Cameron announced early in his statement that, … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. After Paris

  The attacks in Paris were textbook in terms of the philosophy of terrorism: hit publicly, indiscriminately, affecting as large a group of innocent people as possible, attract maximum publicity, generate widespread fear. They also represented a continuation of terrorist … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Russia and Syria: The continuation of politics by other means.

In their addresses to the UN General assembly, last week, Presidents Obama and Putin focused on the civil war in Syria. Both emphasized the need for the war, now in its 5th year, to be brought to an end. They … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. RAAF to bomb Syria: another Captain’s pick?

Within the next ten days, the National Security Committee of Cabinet will discuss the US request to Australia to deploy RAAF assets in bombing IS targets in Syria. Presumably, senior defense, foreign affairs, intelligence and government policy staff will be … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Cost of Having no Independent Foreign Policy

How is it possible that the Australian people: citizens, elected representatives, media staff, academics, to name just some relevant categories, allow the Abbott government to spend $1 billion this year on Australian participation in war in the Middle East, and … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Safe if Implemented.

The Joint Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed with Iran by the UN Security Council’s five Permanent members, plus Germany and the EU, (Vienna, July 14th), is unprecedented. No comparable arms control plan has been as detailed or thorough. Above … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Foreign Policy. An Independent Australian Foreign Policy  

Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue. Summary: For fifty years, since Australia entered the war in Vietnam in 1965, Australian foreign policy has been made increasingly subservient to a specific concept of Australia’s … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. Australia No Longer Interested in Nuclear Disarmament?

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is universally described as the “cornerstone” of nuclear arms control and disarmament. All but four members of the United Nations subscribe to it. Those four; India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, … Continue reading

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